AMD HAS OPENED UP its Radeon Pro Vega II graphics cards for all to get a proper look at after they were basically launched during Apple's Mac Pro reveal.
Both the Radeon Pro Vega II and Radeon Pro Vega II Duo use the latest 7-nanometre process node from Team Red, and sport high-performance bits like high-bandwidth memory (HBM2) and AMD's Infinity Fabric Link GPU interconnect tech to enable faster data transfer between systems with multiple GPUs.
Speaking of more than one GPU, that's exactly what the Radeon Pro Vega II Duo has; it rocks double the specs of its sibling. As such, the Radeon Pro Vega II's 14 teraflops of graphics compute power becomes 28TFLOPS, and the 32GB of HBM2 jumps to 64GB.
Simply put, both cards are set to be some serious professional pixel pushers. But expect to pay through the nose if you want one and don't have a wealthy IT department to chat up, as despite AMD keeping tight-lipped on prices the graphics cards will only be available in the Mac Pro.
Given an entry-level Mac Pro with the Radeon Pro 580X starts at nearly $6,000, expect models with the new professional Vega cards to come with another number added to the mix. We can imagine a fully-specced Mac Pro with a Radeon Pro Vega II Duo will cost somewhere in the region of $30,000.
That being said, companies that specialise in industries where a lot of graphical grunt is needed might simply swallow that price as it could help them get things like CGI effects, CAD designs, and lengthy video renders out the door as a much faster rate.
At this point, we'd normally chew the fat over the potential for this tech to trickle down into more consumer-grade PCs. But PCGamesN previously chatted to AMD about graphics cards with dual GPUs becoming more mainstream in the PC gaming arena, and the chipmaker poured cold water over that ember of a thought.
Creating multi-GPU graphics cards requires some infrastructure work on interconnecting the two graphics processing units, which many games don't play nicely with unless developers commit the resources to ensure they do. That's why you're not likely to see loads of AMD CrossFire PCs offered by computer makers, or indeed machines with Nvidia's multi-GPU connecting equivalent, SLI.
Things might change if AMD can find a way to make the interconnect between dual GPUs appear invisible to operating systems and software. But it has some work to do there, and for now, we expect dual GPUs to remain in the professional world.
Still, the new Radeon Pro Vega II cards are impressive pieces of kit and when looked at in the new Mac Pro, arguably set a standard for other creative hardware manufacturers to reach for. µ
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